By Mohamed Zeeshan
US President Barack Obama recently moved the Congress to authorize his proposed plan of action in Syria and the future there seems rather uncertain. But while the world ponders over the now well-escalated and seemingly unsolvable crisis in Syria, let’s move away from the Middle East to yet another restive region, not too far away – in Afghanistan.
Where does India now take its Afghan adventure?
Before answering that question, let’s first understand Afghanistan. The country, as is well known, is impoverished and hungry after being ravaged by a decades-old conflict. Added to that is the fact that democracy is in its infancy stage and if Afghanistan were to become a true democracy in the midst of Islamist terror, it would create history as the first ever nation to do so. The Islamists meanwhile will do all that is in their power to stop this from happening, and with the NATO troops scheduled to leave shortly, will also have the requisite space to do it. The Pakistan Mujahideen, who are spreading like wildfire today, too will have an added interest in helping the Islamists recapture Afghanistan for the obvious reasons of their natural opposition to liberalism and democracy. And if the Islamists, along with the Mujahideen do indeed succeed in their mission, far-reaching catastrophes will consequently play out. In neighboring Pakistan, the rejuvenation of democracy in the form of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s government would be challenged as the Mujahideen-Islamist nexus of Afghanistan looks to unsettle him. That apart, of course, if the Islamists do succeed in Afghanistan, world terror would thrive, the Arab Spring would get more bloody and Afghanistan itself will likely slip into yet another civil war.
All this brings responsibilities on the shoulders of New Delhi, the regional power and the mature democracy. New Delhi’s challenge will lie in helping democracy establish itself firmly in Afghanistan. That would require India to help develop the lives of the Afghan people, by providing them with education, infrastructure and employment opportunities. The greatest headache for India in trying to do so is to ensure that they don’t get militarily involved in Afghanistan as the Americans did. The growing security threat to Indian embassies and consulates in Afghanistan will provoke them to do so, as can be seen by New Delhi’s decision to deploy extra troops to protect its interests. But the trouble with being involved militarily, apart from the fact that it is costly, is that an armed operation does not help further the lives of the local people; rather, it will turn them against you. India’s bid to help the Afghans rise economically would require them to engage socially and culturally with the Afghans – something the Americans failed to do.
A worthwhile way to do so would be to establish an Indian Peace Corps – perhaps in line with President Kennedy’s US Peace Corps – which can consist of young educated volunteers who live and work in Afghanistan, helping do humanitarian work, and spread literacy, education, employment etc. Of course, as always, with the Islamists vowing to bring down any such attempts by the Indians, there will be a grave threat to the security of such workers. That’s where India needs to continue training the Afghan police and military so that the local forces can soon take over the responsibility of maintaining law and order.
India needs to realize its responsibilities in Afghanistan and act accordingly in the face of obvious opposition. The road will be rough for both nations and the region, but for New Delhi, this is not just a responsibility; it is also an opportunity in its quest to secure lasting peace in South Asia.
Click here, or click on the image below to download the .zip file with an .ai and an .eps file format vector image of sabocat.
For all you Wobblies and anarchists out there have fun. I hope you can use this image in your signs, icons or wherever you need a sabocat. Feel free to do with this as you wish. As before, I would love to hear from you and see what you used this in.
Hopefully I will be giving you much more free vector art in the near future. Enjoy…
You can find the previous “power to the people” image here.
I’ve been thinking of posting original art here at the site. I am going to put out some more vector images in the future here for people to use. I am starting with a simple one. It’s the basic and classic power to the people fist. This image has been used countless times with countless groups. Feel free to download the file here.
And here is a variant without the other stuff, slightly longer arm, click here to download or click the image. This is in .eps vector format also.